News broke on Thursday that WWE CEO and Chairman Vince McMahon has sold off around $100 million in shares of WWE in order to fund a new company that he founded in September of this year.
With McMahon having formed a new company, while also filing a total of five trademarks for the XFL, it looks like he wants to bring back the defunct football league that only lasted one season back in 2001.
One of the XFL’s most famous players was former Las Vegas Outlaws’ running back Rod Smart, who was famously known as “He Hate Me,” a name that he had stitched on the bcak of his jersey.
During an appearance on the Pancakes and Powerslams Show, Smart talked about why the XFL failed the first time around, via Wrestling Inc.
“I think it was one of those things that, at the beginning, I guess the way they presented the product, fans were thinking football and wrestling mixed together. But no, it wasn’t that, it was football and entertainment mixed together. A lot of fans didn’t understand that, because of how it was presented with advertisement. So once they saw the product live, they were like, ‘this ain’t what we thought it was.’ Well, it was football. And that’s what it was, but it had entertainment as well. That’s what it was. So if you don’t understand those two products coming together, then you’re gonna be like, oh, well this isn’t what I expected, and you may walk off from it.
“But, I think if they had another year, at the point in time, at least another year, I think people would’ve got more involved, and it would’ve had a bigger following. The thing that kind of spoiled it for everything is TV. You know, TV is big, so if you don’t get certain ratings for a certain time bracket you’re supposed to be shown on, it’s gonna be issues. And the biggest issue at the time was money. You can’t play around with that. Nobody wants to lose millions. So, I think that was the biggest thing that made the company fold. But, I think it was a great product, I think it was perfect for football in the spring. It wasn’t like it went head-on with the NFL. It wasn’t in the fall, it competed with whatever was in the spring, I think it was NFL Europe at the time. I think that was pretty much coming to an end anyway. I think it was perfect… still to this day, I think Vince McMahon is a genius for creating it, him and Dick Ebersol.”
Smart was also asked what he thinks about McMahon possibly bringing back the XFL.
“I don’t look at it as nothing bad at all. I think it’ll be a great opportunity for a number of guys to play some football in the states and be seen by family and friends, where they can travel and be a fan and follow those players. Right now, I have a younger brother playing up in Canada. He would probably love to be in the states playing ball…and you don’t always get the games on television because of it being Canadian football. So, if things work out, it’ll be great to have him back in the states playing, and I would go support him as well. I think it’ll be a great opportunity for a lot of these young guys who are trying to make it in the NFL and just playing football in the U.S. in front of their family and friends.”
I truly have my doubts as to whether the XFL would work a second time around, but I would hope that McMahon has learned a lot from it failing the first time around.
With the fact that NFL television ratings have been slipping over the past two years and that other minor league football ccompanies have failed in the past, I’m not sure what makes him think it will work a second time around. Maybe he’ll have guys like John Cena and Roman Reigns play in order to draw people to games. I know that would be dumb and won’t work and won’t happen. But he’ll need to come up with something crazy that will force people to watch.
It’s also become apparent that NFL fans don’t like being oversaturated with football and that’s exactly what’s happened in the NFL with games on Thursdays, Sundays and Mondays. Will they really have time to watch a league like the XFL, that won’t have any big name stars in it?
If McMahon is bringing the XFL back, we might hear an announcement some time in 2018.
Comment below and give us your thoughts as to whether or not you think the XFL would be a success if it comes back.
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